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Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council and 48 partner organizations with employees across the country penned a letter to the National Governors Association urging state leaders to lead on testing and tracing protocols. To ensure those protocols are effective, NSC and its partners urge governors to collaborate with business leaders to create a commonsense approach that uniformly implements known best practices.
Additionally, the letter implores state and business leaders to establish clear and consistent guidance on wearing facial coverings in both business and public settings. Facial coverings are shown to limit exposure to the coronavirus from asymptomatic people, and up to 80% of people may be asymptomatic or display mild symptoms.
“If testing and contact tracing are not part of return-to-the-workplace efforts, workers are being needlessly exposed to risk,” said Lorraine M. Martin, NSC president and CEO. “Testing, tracing and facial coverings are critical to preventing another nationwide shutdown. Our economic recovery depends on an effective response, and we need state officials and businesses to lead.”
In order to limit transmission in workplaces and communities, states and employers must understand how to look back at previous contacts amongst those infected to identify others who may also be carrying the disease. We need state leadership to expand testing systems, collect community results and data in a manner that maximizes safety and health, and organize contact tracing crews. Working directly with employers will drastically increase the speed and efficiency of these efforts.
NSC has been leading the call for testing and tracing to be required elements of reopening plans. In regards to testing, more than 70 organizations joined NSC in April in calling for the federal government to make testing available to all employers and to enact procedures for sharing testing results with employers while protecting employee privacy. Further, NSC has developed policy positions on both testing and tracing that public and private sector leaders can adopt and follow.
Since the crisis did not come with roadmaps for response, NSC is filling gaps with return-to-the-workplace resources that include guidebooks, checklists, sample policies and procedures to ensure employers have the information they need. These materials are being created with input from the SAFER task force – a group of businesses, government representatives, small businesses, nonprofits, public health officials and safety experts – who share best practices and tips. Resources are available at nsc.org/safer.
About the National Safety CouncilThe National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.
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